Birth Injuries from Shoulder Dystocia: Portland Birth Injury Lawyers

Understanding Common Birth Injuries from Shoulder Dystocia: Explained by Our Portland Birth Injury Lawyers

The labor and delivery process is an exciting but difficult time.  While most deliveries go without an issue, some deliveries are plagued by complications.  Although some complications are natural and unavoidable, some complications may be due to Oregon medical malpractice.  Shoulder dystocia injuries fall into that category of possibly a natural complication or possibly due to medical malpractice.  Indeed, many instances of shoulder dystocia could be avoided with proper care and treatment.  Our Portland birth injury lawyers know that it is important for healthcare professionals to avoid the risks of shoulder dystocia.  This is because the common birth injuries from shoulder dystocia could be devastating.  Learn about some of the common ways healthcare providers can avoid shoulder dystocia and some of the common birth injuries caused by shoulder dystocia so you can protect your newborn’s rights.

What is Shoulder Dystocia?

Shoulder dystocia is simply when the baby’s shoulder or both shoulders get stuck in the birth canal.  In order to be born, a baby’s positioning will change and go through stages of the birth canal.  This means that a baby will turn and begin to slide down the birth canal.  The baby must pass between the gap in the pelvis between the tailbone and the pubic bone.  This is when shoulder dystocia could occur.  Generally, shoulder dystocia occurs once the baby’s head has come through the birth canal and been born.  However, one or both shoulders get stuck on the pubic bone or on the tailbone (rarer).

Warning Signs of Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder dystocia is a birth injury that does not appear until it actually means.  Meaning, prior to the baby coming through the birth canal and getting stuck, shoulder dystocia is not detectible or visible on an x-ray.  Shoulder dystocia is detectible when it occurs.

However, there are many warning signs and red flags which give indication that shoulder dystocia may occur.  These warning signs are detectible before a baby is born can comes through the birth canal before being stuck. Some of the most common warning signs of shoulder dystocia include the following:

  • A large baby;
  • A small pelvis;
  • Smaller framed mother with either a narrow pelvis, skinny, or otherwise smaller in general;
  • Gestational diabetes which usually translates into a larger baby;
  • Irregular contractions;
  • Prior birth which may have caused scar tissue in the birth canal;
  • Feet-first positioning of the baby;
  • Poor umbilical cord positioning in the birth canal, including umbilical cord prolapse; and
  • Many other warning signs.

Common Oregon Birth Injuries Due to Shoulder Dystocia

There are many common birth injuries which could be caused by shoulder dystocia.  While some of these birth injuries may resolve in a few months, some of these birth injuries may last for a lifetime.  Some birth injuries may also be catastrophic and greatly affect how a person will live due to complications.

The most common birth injuries that our Portland birth injury lawyers have seen include the following:

  • Brachial plexus nerve injuries;
  • Facial nerve injuries;
  • Broken bones, specially the collarbone or clavicle;
  • Cerebral palsy;
  • HIE or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy;
  • Anoxic injuries;
  • Hypoxic injuries; and
  • Many other permanent birth injuries.

Did Your Newborn Have Shoulder Dystocia at Birth?  You Have Rights to Protect.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover. 

Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.  

We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.  

Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.

For a free case evaluation


(541) 385-1999 in Bend, Oregon
(503) 479-3646 in Portland, Oregon
(612) 444-3374 in Minnesota

– or fill out the form below –

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